You are currently viewing Russian Wikipedia editor arrested in Belarus over ‘anti-Russian’ edits

Russian Wikipedia editor arrested in Belarus over ‘anti-Russian’ edits

A top Russian Wikipedia editor, Mark Bernstein, has been arrested in Belarus over alleged anti-Russian edits concerning Ukraine’s invasion.

As The Verge reports, Bernstein is being held by the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of Belarus (GUBOPiK) — one of the bodies responsible for political persecution in the country.

The tech blog also revealed that his details, such as social media name, Wikipedia handle, and place of work, were shared on GUBOPiK’s Telegram channel before his arrest.

Meanwhile, the editor had not been charged with any specific crime when this article was published. Although, there were reports from within the country that he had been accused of spreading anti-Russian information. Also, Bernstein’s Wikipedia account has been blocked ‘indefinitely.’

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Recall that the Russian government had issued a new law that criminalises spreading “fake news” about it, with a 15-year jail term. Wikipedia had been one of the information bodies that the Putin administration threatened to ban following the new law.

With Mark Bernstein’s arrest, the Wikipedia Foundation has released a statement to support the team of editors in the country. It mentioned that it is working with ‘Human Rights teams’ to monitor the Russo-Ukrainian situation and has been in ‘close touch’ with the communities in affected areas.

The arrested Mark Bernstein is a prominent Wikipedia editor who has made over 200,000 edits on the platform and is one of the top 50 editors of Russian Wikipedia.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.